WHY TOM POSTON SIGNED IN THE WAY HE DID: In the notes for tonight's episode, mention is made of Tom Poston's "particular antics while signing in." Those antics consisted of leaving the sign-in board blank and then going back to sign in after consulting with John Daly. These antics were a reference back to Tom Poston's initial brush with fame as the "Perennial Amnesiac" in the "Men in the Street" comedy routines on the 1956-1960 NBC television series "The Steve Allen Show." In these sketches, Steve Allen would interview three men: One was Don Knotts, before his time as "Barney Fife," who would play an extremely nervous man. Another man was Louis Nye, who portrayed a silly, upbeat fellow who would always greet Allen with the salutation, "Hi Ho Steverino." And the third man was Tom Poston, who played a fellow so dumb he could never remember his own name. At times there was a fourth man, Dayton Allen, who became famous for his catch phrase, "Whyyyyyyyy Not?," with a very elongated pronunciation of the word "why." - brklnbern (2009)
FLIP REPORT: For all except the first card, the flip cards were on the ring backwards in this episode. As such, once the error was realized, John didn't bother with the cards and instead kept notes with a pencil and pad of paper. Nevertheless, he flipped the "backwards cards" over for the second contestant to award him the full prize, as this contestant donated his winnings to the American Humane Association. - agent_0042 (2009)
(1) BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN: After skipping tonight's show in 2005 for the Halloween special, GSN aired this episode in regular rotation on March 20, 2009.
(2) "WML?" SPONSOR, PANEL AND ANNOUNCER WATCH: For this first show of the new year of 1960, Sunbeam is the chief sponsor, and the wording used by announcer Hal Simms during the intro starts off with the "award-winning 'What's My Line?' panel" variation. This episode also marked the end of the line (not necessarily any pun intended) for David Niven on the program, after a total of eight appearances -- seven (including tonight) as a guest panelist, and his first (on the now-lost EPISODE #89 of February 10, 1952) as a mystery guest. However, as this episode was taped prior to the live transmission of EPISODE #494 of December 13, 1959, on which the actor was also a guest panelist, technically (in terms of production order) Mr. Niven's last-ever "WML?" appearance was EPISODE #494; but in airing order, tonight was the night.
(3) "WML?" VIDEOTAPE WATCH - #3 OF 77: This was the third "WML?" episode to be videotaped in advance of air date. The full list of prerecorded shows can be found in the notes to EPISODE #474 of July 26, 1959.
(4) TOM POSTON - PART I: The comedian, actor and "To Tell the Truth" panelist makes the first of two appearances as a mystery guest tonight. His second time would be on EPISODE #840 of December 11, 1966, along with his fellow "TTTT" panelists of the time (Peggy Cass, Orson Bean and Kitty Carlisle); on that occasion, guest panelist Phyllis Newman, who was once a regular panelist on the daytime "TTTT," had the honors of identifying the quartet. For Mr. Poston's spot this evening, in no small part due to his particular antics while signing in, there was no lower-third overlay.
(5) TOM POSTON - PART II: While the play Mr. Poston was appearing in at the time of the taping of tonight's show, "Golden Fleecing," was mentioned, his panelist stint on "TTTT" was not. One of Tom's co-stars in "Golden Fleecing" was Suzanne Pleshette, with whom Mr. Poston worked with on the 1972-1978 series "The Bob Newhart Show" -- and to whom he was married from 2001 until his death in 2007. It should be noted, however, that "Golden Fleecing" had closed on December 26, 1959 after 84 performances at Henry Miller's Theatre, so the plug was a little out-of-date by the time this prerecorded episode finally aired.
(6) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: For tonight's show, there was no travel arrangements plug, and the end credits went all the way through, which in those days meant up to the art card slide crediting technical director Vernon Gamble and lighting director Charles Reinhard. The significance of this was completely lost on GSN, though, during its March 20, 2009 airing of this episode, if judging from their routine (and highly tiresome) "crunching" of the screen.
(7) BACK-TO-BACK TOM POSTON: Right after the March 20, 2009 airing of tonight's show, GSN repeated the November 19, 1959 edition of "To Tell the Truth," hosted by Bud Collyer, with the panel this time comprised of Monique van Vooren, Don Ameche, Kitty Carlisle and Tom Poston. The first game featured Captain Georges Croisile (captain of the French liner SS Liberté; he was slated to take command of the soon-to-be-launched SS France in 1961) and two impostors; the second game featured Miss Pat Fontaine (weather girl for KMOX-TV, Channel 4, the CBS-owned television station in St. Louis, Missouri; she later had a brief stint on NBC's "Today" show as a "Today girl" from 1963 to 1964) and two impostors; and the third game featured Tony Madigan (an Australian native who was the World Amateur Boxing Champion in his weight class of Light Heavyweight) and two impostors. - W-B (2009)
GSN'S 2005 HALLOWEEN SPECIAL: This episode was seen on GSN on September 19, 2003. On November 1, 2005, which would have been the next "regular rotation" broadcast, GSN did not air this episode. Four episodes of "WML?" were skipped to air GSN's 2005 HALLOWEEN SPECIAL. Instead, the following shows were seen on the following dates. - Suzanne (2005)
10/29/2005 = EPISODE #460
10/30/2005 = EPISODE #536
10/31/2005 = EPISODE #341
and a "double bill"
11/01/2005 = EPISODE #405
11/01/2005 = EPISODE #224
This episode was prerecorded. From Gil Fates' logs, we know this episode was taped on December 13, 1959. - Suzanne (2005)
OOPS!!! FLIP CARD FIASCO After the first card, John's flip cards are facing in the wrong direction! They are on backwards! For most of the show, we see the back of the cards. John states that this has never happened before! He does not get very rattled. He good-naturedly takes it in stride and starts keeping notes with a pencil and pad of paper. He states he does not even know how the cards are taken off the ring that holds them on the desk. - Suzanne (2003)
Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, David Niven, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.
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